Dog, Inc.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man's Best Friend
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What Stiff did for the dead and Fast Food Nation did for the burger, Dog, Inc. does for the stranger-than-fiction world of commercial dog cloning.
It all began with a pit bull named Booger. Former Miss Wyoming Bernann McKinney was so distraught over the death of her dog, whom she regarded as her guardian and savior, that she paid $50,000 to RNL Bio for the chance to bring her beloved companion back to life. The result were five new Boogers-the first successful commercial cloning of a canine- delivered in 2008, along with a slew of compelling questions about the boundaries of science, commerce, and ethics. Blending shocking investigative reporting with colorful anecdotes, Pulitzer Prize-winning John Woestendiek takes readers behind the scenes of this emerging industry.
But Dog, Inc. isn't just a book about pets. Nor is it just a book about science. Rather it's a fascinating look at how our emotional needs are bending the reaches of science and technology, as well as a study of this uncharted territory. With our pet obsession climbing to new heights and our scientific abilities even more so, this combination raises a serious concern: Are we crossing the boundary of controlling science in the name of science, in the name of love, in the name of merchandising-or a blend of all three?
ripping the cornrows from her scalp. Using her left hand, she tried to free herself, but it was useless. The youngest of thirteen children, and a mother of two, who had moved to the United States three years earlier, Guzman began to pray, “Lord, just give me a second chance, and I promise I will do your will.” Then she rested her head on the one soft spot she could find amid the rough concrete and sharp edges. Upon that cushion—it turned out to be the leg of a deceased firefighter—she fell
twelve years his senior and had also come from a modest farming background. Born in the aftermath of the Korean War, Hwang grew up in the central Korean province of South Chungcheong, raised by a mother who was widowed when he was five, and hard-pressed to provide for her six children. He eventually took a job at a farm, tending to cows, to help support the family. “He was obsessed with cows,” his mother told a Washington Post reporter in 2004. “There were times when he wouldn’t come home for
on for over a year and involved several hundred emails and phone calls total. Literally DOZENS of times, we offered to arrange DNA certification for Little Nicky.” A week later, “JulieandNicky” responded to Hawthorne’s response on the New Scientist website: “Your version of what transpired is quite an interesting tale. May I remind you, it was you that went in front of the national media and proclaimed Nicky was a clone. Certainly you must have the test results to back up your claim.... Might I
would call the veterinary school when their dogs went into estrus—scientists at the veterinary school were able, through a vast amount of trial and error, to make Snuppy, a dog that has spent his five years of life since then living in a laboratory. Dr. Hwang was having little problem finding donors for his human project. For his 2004 study, sixteen women donated 242 eggs in support of his effort to clone an embryo and create stem-cell lines. He would go on to claim, in a paper his team
McKinney had stocked with romantic music, sexual aids, and his favorite foods—they engaged in consensual kissing. “We started to kiss.... When our big moment came, he got scared,” she said. “He starts crying. He actually cried. The next night was a little better. We finally made love. I had one of those sexual therapy books and we used some of the exercises to try and relax us.” McKinney says that all sex that occurred was consensual, that Anderson did not object to being restrained; to the